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Breaking habits

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Old 10-16-2007, 12:19 PM   #1
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Default Breaking habits

I have this bad habit of "grabbing something" to eat on my way to work. Usually it means Starbucks or McDonald's (like this morning) or what not. It's been a long running habit and though sometimes I'm good about preparing my own breakfast I often go in phases where I'll pick something up along the way. I think it's related to anxiety because when I'm worried about something or stressed or moody, I don't take the time to prepare something the night before. I just wait until morning when I'm super busy getting ready and don't have time. Now I feel guilty and gross. '

I've heard that some people tend to have problems eating late at night after dinner. That's not my problem. Mine is in the morning before I begin my day.

Maybe you can relate. I know I need to "just decide" to do it, but does anyone have tips of tricks that have helped them break bad habits.
What did you do to break some bad habits and get out of the danger of "being in a rut"?
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:28 PM   #2
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For me, breaking the breakfast rut was a matter of making sure I had option plans in place. I eat breakfast at the office, once I get there. So if I didn't want to stop at McD's every morning, I had to either take my breakfast with me, or have it already there.

So I have a box of Kashi Go Lean in my desk, and a bowl and a spoon. I can buy a container of skim milk up in the snack bar. If I didn't bring anything one morning, that is my "fall-back" plan.

I am not good at "making" breakfast to go. So most mornings I have a container of cottage cheese and two pieces of fruit. That plus my cup of coffee will keep me until lunchtime. We always have fruit in the fruit bowl at home now. Bananas and apples, and then whatever else is in season. So grabbing two pieces is easy, and the cottage cheese cups are handy in the fridge, too.

When I first started doing this, it was pretty evenly split between Kashi mornings and cottage cheese mornings. Now, though, I can't remember the last time I forgot my cottage cheese and fruit. But the Kashi is there, just in case. I have NO excuse to go to McDs. And getting rid of the excuse was my first step in breaking the habit.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:31 PM   #3
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I usually have a very busy morning, and I am *not* a morning person. It's so much more efficient to prepare as much as I can the night before, so when I wake up I can be on "autopilot" and have everything lined up and ready to go. The problem with that is, for me, sometimes life gets in the way. I do something on a weeknight and come home at 11pm, and don't have time to do the morning prep work.

I do know how tempting those things are in the morning. I allow myself to occasionally get a coffee, but I stick to a very basic medium coffee with 1% milk in it (nothing fancy and sugary). I combated some of my issue by keeping dried fruits, nuts, and instant oatmeal at my desk at work, so I can come to work after my morning workout and eat breakfast there. Every now and then I can't resist the urge to get something from McD's. So I choose the healthiest sandwich they have (basic egg mcmuffin), and bring an orange or apple to accompany it.

It does help to have a few basic breakfasts at home, things you can eat day in and day out without much trouble. For me, it varies - smoothies, a bowl of cereal, a frittata that I make on the weekend and reheat a piece every morning, or a piece of peanut-butter toast and fruit. Or a hard-boiled egg and fruit.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:35 PM   #4
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For the longest time my breakfast was a Luna bar. I know - not the greatest breakfast, but for someone who went from either nothing or a stop at Dunkin Donuts, it was a huge improvement. I have since graduated to the Kashi GoLean at the desk thing, which works OK for me. Maybe someday I will learn how to be a better morning person, but right now it just isn't happening. One of the things I have learned is that trying to fight my own tendencies before I am really ready is one of the sure fire ways for me to fail.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:38 PM   #5
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You could find a recipe for a really healthful and tasty breakfast muffin that you can bake at home, then bring with you in the morning. That, along with a piece of fruit or something should help keep you from getting something along the way.
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:51 PM   #6
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I'm an "eat at my desk" person too -- and I used to ALWAYS get a McDonald's coffee and their low fat muffin ahhah i didnt' realize it was loaded with sugar and that PROTEIN in the mornings would change my life!!!

I start each Monday with a container of cottage cheese in the fridge at work, and some high fibre cereal or granola bars high in fibre, and I have a few spoons of cottage cheese, my Kashi bar say, and a pear. easy peasy!

that being said, i was off yesterday and forgot my bag of stuff this morning so i got coffee and a bagel this morning and i feel starving and kinda spinny! it's amazing how fast bad habits can go to good habits... it's just plugging away at it day after day
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:09 PM   #7
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True, Trazey, but I find that if I get off my normal pattern, it is fairly easy for me to get back into it. The doughnut or bagel thing is something I do occasionally, too, and I always regret it. I get a buzz, then a crash. I NEED that protein in the morning.

Another fall-back for me is a hard-cooked egg (another staple at the snack bar upstairs). My problem is that they also serve doughnuts, so I really have to be strong and get the egg and NOT the sweets.

When I was doing Atkins (or something like it.. Protein Power, I think it was called), I would make an egg casserole on the weekend. Eggs and lean meat and veggies (spinach, mushrooms, etc) and some cheese. Easy to make and bake. Then I'd cut it into six pieces and wrap each one in aluminum foil. Easy to grab in the morning on my way out the door.

It's a matter of 1) preparation and 2) fall-back plans. If both 1 and 2 fall through, I go for McDs or a doughnut. That's why I have at least three fall-back plans for breakfasts at work (Kashi, hard-cooked egg, or a protein smoothie from the food court next door).

I like having a plan. When I don't have a plan, I am almost sure to stumble.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:27 PM   #8
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Let me start by saying I have to eat breakfast or nobody will want to be around me
Trazey - I totally agree with you on the protein for breakfast! I spent 2 years on Atkins and that was one of the most important things I learned. If I have protein in the mornings I'm very satisfied until lunch time. If I eat bagels or muffins I starving. I usually eat egg whites in the mornings, but sometimes I'll eat oatmeal at my desk and put a little peanut butter in it - it is so yummy and keeps me satisfied.

I agree with Synger that preparation and planning is key.
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Old 10-16-2007, 01:36 PM   #9
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To start off with try taking a box of cereal bars to work and sitck in your desk or a box of grits/oatmeal. That way if you forget to bring something you have something else available to eat. Also dont bring any cash with you on the way to work, that way you wont be tempted to stop anywhere b/c you dont have any cash readily available.
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Old 10-16-2007, 02:06 PM   #10
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Lightbulb Can you take a different route to work so you don't pass those places? Or....

How about making up your own breakfast burritos to take with you?
Egg Beaters, Peppers, Onions, Low fat turkey sausage & Salsa. You can make everything up in advance & then nuke it on your way out, or once you get to work if you have a microwave there. You can even make up enough to last a few days so that you don't have to worry about it the night before when you're to tired or in the morning when you're in a hurry.
You could also try taking healthy snacks such as baby carrots & celery to munch on while you drive, they're not messy & might get your mind off those golden arches.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:29 PM   #11
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Great ideas! I think preplanning is really going to be my key. I do well when I have grab and go items in my fridge. It's when I don't have food planned. I think I might also need to plant some snacks in the car. I have a long commute and that's also enticing me to eat because it's "dead" time alone in the car and eating (while listening to the radio) keeps me occupied and "awake". Maybe what I need to break is eating in the car habit.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by julzchiki View Post
Great ideas! I think preplanning is really going to be my key. I do well when I have grab and go items in my fridge. It's when I don't have food planned. I think I might also need to plant some snacks in the car. I have a long commute and that's also enticing me to eat because it's "dead" time alone in the car and eating (while listening to the radio) keeps me occupied and "awake". Maybe what I need to break is eating in the car habit.
I would never have lost the weight if I didn't plan every single meal and snack. For me, it's the only way to go. Leaving it up to chance is just too risky. Any prep time, is time EXTREMELY well spent.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:46 PM   #13
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I have an excessively hard time planning a meal sometimes. If I get home late... if I have other things to do. I find I am great Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday but by Thursday and Friday too much has pilled up.

I try not to do this regularly, if I must stop at McDonalds I do and just modify the food.

Get an Egg Mcmuffin but take the top of the roll off. (cutting calories and carbs). Get scrambled eggs and sausage but only eat 1/2 the sausage. Sure not the best but better than diving in. And I find it is just very hard to *stay clean* 100% of the time. It also helps me feel I am *getting* my treat as sometimes I do just crave the taste of McDonalds. Doesn't mean I have to eat the whole value meal.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:52 PM   #14
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I use to stop for breakfast every morning. Now I eat in the car, but I eat something from home. I usually take an All Bran Bar, a Diet Cranberry Juice, and a bottle of water. It's enough to keep me on the drive and only 2 points on WW. I let myself stop at McDonald's one day a week, NO MORE! When I do get my McD's fix I get an Egg McMuffin, but no morning snack on those days. Other good foods in the car are string cheese, yogurt smoothies, and raisins. Raisins, eaten one at a time, take forever to eat.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:40 PM   #15
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Great Thread! Time for a Change: I love the pre-made breakfast burrito idea. Great seeing you here!!

I keep looking at that fancy toaster that cooks an egg, too. Have you seen it?? If I had one of those fancy toasters I'd put an Alternative Bagel (1 pt) in the toaster and either a real egg or some Egg Beaters in the egg thingee and have breakfast done in a jiffy. Add a slice of reduced fat or fat free cheddar and it would be almost like an Egg McMuffin.

I may have to fix breakfast for dinner tonight!! Sounds yummy.
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